The Self Improvement Toolshop

tools to make you a better you

Your Resume and Interview

scan001320.jpg   I am amazed at how people present themselves at job interviews.  Skills are important but in the end an employer hires a person.  They hire a person that they can get along with and that will fit into the office milieu. 

Your resume.  I bet you think no one really looks to closely at your resume.  Not true. Someone does.  Make sure your resume is top notch.  No typos.  Stick to one page.  Summer and school jobs are not necessary.  If you want to let the company know you are a hard worker you can put a statement on your resume that you had various jobs during the summers and during school and that information will be available upon request. 

The format you choose for your resume is up for grabs.  What is important is that it is easy to read and you list your current jobs first.  Last jobs go last. 

When you write your resume think of how you want to present yourself.  Your resume should be an outline of your accomplishments.  You can provide the details at the interview.  Do not load your resume with BS.  Employers can see through that.

Have someone review your resume for typos or anything that might be unprofessional, over embellished, too long or BS. 

I do not believe that the paper your resume is on is important.  Regular paper is fine.  Don’t waste money on fancy paper.

A cover letter should be provided with your resume.  It should be brief.  It should include the position you are applying for.  Also a sentence why hiring you would benefit the company and why you would shine in the position you are applying for. 

Before you interview research the company you are applying to.  Know some facts about the company. During the interview try to incorporate these facts into your answers.  Evaluate where you have skills related to these facts and let the interviewer know this.  For example if the company has a reputation for excellent customer service discuss how this is important to you and how you have top notch customer service skills.

Turn off your cell phone before you enter the interview room. 

 Once you get an interview dress professionally.  Over dressed is better than underdressed.  No jeans, no untucked shirts, no cleavage no tee shrits, and no clanky jewelry.  Causual is not the way to go.  Professional work attire is the way to go.  You want the interviewer to make contact with you not your attire. 

If you are over dressed the interviewer will not take points off for that.  If you are under dressed or poorly dressed you are done.  You will lose the position due to your attire. 

Be aware of your speech habits.  Do not talk quickly.  You want to be understood.  No slang and gangster talk.  Think before you answer a question.  No fidgeting.  Make eye contact. 

Be confident, be professional. 

The best way to answer a question is with brevity.  Talk about how you can provide benefits to the company based on your skills and past job duties.  Do not brag but rather highlightht yourself in the best possible way.  Express how you would fit into the company.  Do not offer your opinion.  Try to discuss facts only. 

Do not appear stiff but on the other hand do not get buddy buddy.  Do not get relaxed and casual with the interviewer. Things may slip out that are inappropriate.    Keep reminding yourself this is an interview for a professional position. 

Ask questions when it is your turn.  Be prepared.  If there is a second interview that is the time to discuss salary. 

When the interview winds down thank the interviewer and reiterate how much you would like the position and how you would fit into the company and the position.  Make it short but be sure to make a last(ing) impression.

No matter how well you think the interview went keep applying for other positions.  Never count your chickens before they hatch.  And you may find a better position to apply for.

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach


May 18, 2007 Posted by | how to succeed, work, work attire | 2 Comments

A Couple of Things


I am sorry.  There is a technical problem with my newsletter subscription.  If you subscribed and did not receive my newsletter please be patient.  I am working on it.   

Why I do not recommend working in your pajamasIn a pinch it is fine to work in your pajamas.  However, it is not a good idea to make a habit of it.  You will not be able to take your work nor yourself seriously if you are in your pajamas.  It is best to approach your work at home business in a professional manner.  That means wearing comfortable but appropriate attire.  You will get more done and think more clearly if you are properly dressed.  When you are in pajamas you are in a pajama state of mind.  You need to be in work state of mind.  Dressing in comfortable but work type clothes will help you do this.  Try it both ways and see what happens.  Let me know. 

EducationYou should schedule part of your work time towards education.  Education can be a review of your business practices.  You may want to see what is working and what is not.  If something is getting results leave it alone for now.  If something is not getting results this is where you need review and education.  When you review something you need to determine if it is worthwhile to work on or if it is better to scrap it. If it is worthwhile working on then this is where your education comes in.  It is up to you to determine what type of education is needed.  This may mean a trip to the library or bookstore, cruising the internet, consulting with a professional, brainstorming or getting a second opinion from a non professional.   

Since your time is valuable you may want to research books online and then check out your library catalogue online.  Before you head out to the library or bookstore make sure the book you need is there.  Cruise the internet with some caution.  There is valuable information on the internet but there can also be questionable information.  Consulting with a professional can be wonderful.  However, you need to find the right professional and consider the cost.  Brainstorming is free and is something you can do any time.  Getting a second opinion can help you find a solution.  When you get a non professional second opinion it can help you get unstuck in problem solving.   

Whatever option you choose remember to formulate a plan to follow and a time line to see if your new solution is working. 

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

February 5, 2007 Posted by | education, work attire | Leave a comment